An Active Presence On Social Media Can Head Off Bad Publicity

An Active Presence On Social Media Can Head Off Bad Publicity

I’m going to guess that if you wanted to track down the origin of consumer complaints, you would end up somewhere around the very first time humans got together to trade goods and services. Being unhappy with a transaction is a universal feeling – and was probably just as frustrating thousands of years ago as it is today! We’ve all been there at one time or another; all that’s changed is how we go about reporting our dissatisfaction. Over the years, we’ve tried mail. We’ve tried the telephone. We’ve tried email. But more and more these days, consumers are turning to social media as a favored route for grumbling about products or services that didn’t measure up to their expectations. The only question is whether anyone on the receiving end of those social media complaints is paying attention – and too often they aren’t! Perhaps that’s why I was so impressed by a recent news item that said CarMax employs a seven-member social-care team that responds to customer concerns, questions and complaints, usually in an hour or less. That sounds like a pretty good-sized team, until you keep reading in the article and learn that the team engages with about 4,000 to 6,000 people each month! That’s a lot of customers or potential customers who take to Facebook, Twitter or other platforms to communicate with CarMax about their experiences, both good and bad. But it’s also just one more example of what our social media strategists at EMSI have been telling me for quite some time now. Social media platforms have become a major player in the way customers...
Recommended Reading: 3 Articles That Explore And Extol Social Media’s Impact

Recommended Reading: 3 Articles That Explore And Extol Social Media’s Impact

  This week three articles came across my desk that resonated with me because they reinforce, and state beautifully, some of the things that we at EMSI have been saying about the value of social media for quite awhile now. These articles were such an inspiration that I nearly decided to burrow through old PR Insiders that touched on the same topics, and update what I wrote before as a reminder about why social media needs to be a part of your marketing efforts. But then it dawned on me. Rather than repeat myself, it might be an even better idea to let you hear some other voices for a change. So allow me to share with you a little about what stood out for me with each of the three articles, and provide links so you can read them in full. (In my view, they are definitely worth the time.) 5 reasons your boss needs to be on social media. One of my favorite things about this article is how it points out that no matter your target audience, social media is where you’ll find the people you’re marketing to. “Globally, more than two billion people are now on social media,” he writes. “The average user spends nearly two hours a day on social platforms. Studies have shown that millennials watch more YouTube than TV, and three out of four consumers say social media impacts their buying decisions. There’s little question that these trends will continue as more and newer social patterns emerge. So for executives, this begs the question: Social media is where your customers are —shouldn’t...
Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Ignore Social Media – Even If They Could

Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Ignore Social Media – Even If They Could

When it comes to social media, I suspect that a certain segment of the 55 and older crowd may still have something in common with a successful businessman I recently spoke with. Intellectually, he knew he should be on social media. He understood he could use it to grow his brand and reach people he otherwise wouldn’t reach. But somehow, for some reason, his heart wasn’t in it. He just couldn’t get passionate about plunging into the social media game. And maybe, for him, that’s okay. I mean, do you absolutely, positively have to be on social media to succeed in business today? Well, perhaps not. But I also know this. If you forego social media, you’ll be placing limits on what your business will accomplish because you’ll miss out on lots of opportunities. In fact, some potential customers may dismiss you out of hand. And, frankly, there’s really no reason not to do it because setting up social media accounts is free! This is National Small Business Week and, as a small business owner myself, I thought this would be a good time to explore just how valuable the social media world can be for small businesses. So let’s start by asking another, more pertinent question. Will social media help your business be an even better success? You bet! Several months ago the Social Media Examiner released its seventh annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which showed that more than 50 percent of small businesses say social media helped them increase sales within two years. Stretch that out to five years and 70 percent say they saw sales...
Beware Of These 5 Social Media Mistakes

Beware Of These 5 Social Media Mistakes

Social media sites have become a powerful way to market your brand, but anyone who follows the news is aware they present pitfalls as well. Companies end up apologizing over ill-advised tweets. Individuals create controversy with Facebook posts they thought were innocuous – or perhaps knew would be controversial but didn’t anticipate just how controversial. If you’re like me, you probably have more than enough headaches without adding a social media blunder to the list! So to help you avoid some of the more common mistakes that businesses and individuals make, I asked EMSI’s social media team to chime in. Here’s how they say many people go astray: Treating every platform the same. Social media sites are different and you need to approach them differently. Facebook, for example, is the most consumer-friendly and the first place most people go, whether they want to share photos of their grandchildren or learn what others have to say about their experiences with a business. LinkedIn is better for business and professional purposes. Twitter, with its character limit on messages, is the high-speed, information-now site. It’s a great place to check news updates. You also can get away with posting more often here than you can on other sites. Posting too frequently – or not frequently enough. You want a happy balance here. Some people flood their followers with Facebook posts. It becomes too much of a good thing and your followers’ eyes glaze over as they scroll quickly past your latest post – perhaps thinking, “Oh, no! Not him or her again!” On the other hand, out of sight is out of...
Bringing Your Old Marketing Techniques Into the New Millennium

Bringing Your Old Marketing Techniques Into the New Millennium

Recently, I was speaking with a couple of old-school marketers who have a great track record of success, but are beginning to find that many of their old tricks no longer work as well. For example, in the past they had made great use of advertorials – those full-page newspaper advertisements that are designed to look and read like a news article – but because of the decline of the print industry they weren’t experiencing the same return on investment they once did. I sympathized. But, I also understood their situation because there’s been a shift in the marketing landscape and much of that shift has been driven by our migration to a digital world. Since traditional print wasn’t working for them, I suggested they go to bloggers who might write about their product. They quickly rejected that idea. “Social media doesn’t work,” was the response. Without bothering to point out that bloggers and social media aren’t the same thing, I thought to myself, “Yes, they very much are still old school.” But it’s time to get new school. We need to be mixing old and new because digital marketing brings brand awareness and brand equity that supports traditional marketing efforts. Before consumers make buying decisions today, the majority go online to research information about products. They read reviews and learn everything they can – pro and con – about you, your product, your business and your competitors! In fact, studies show that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase, and 61 percent read product reviews before they buy. What they learn about you should...
Social Media Just Changed Again! Did Your Marketing Strategy?

Social Media Just Changed Again! Did Your Marketing Strategy?

Just the other morning I was reminded (as if I needed any reminding!) that social media evolves more quickly than I can type in my username and password. On that day, Jay York and Brittany Vaill, two of EMSI’s social media strategists, were discussing changes in the works for Instagram and what the implications might be for us and our clients. As I listened to them discuss – and at times bemoan – what was happening with Instagram, it hit me that the details of this particular change weren’t nearly as crucial as the fact that a change was happening at all. (Jay smilingly said, “Marsha, get used to it!”) But, why is this important? Because each change in how social media platforms operate affects how well or how poorly individuals and businesses use them in their marketing and personal branding efforts. By now, nearly everybody agrees that social media is a key ingredient to any marketing plan, but aimlessly tweeting and liking things doesn’t get the job done. If you’re serious about social media as a marketing tool – and you should be – it’s essential to have a professional involved who would track trends and adapt your marketing strategy to the newest features available – like when Instagram switches things up on you. We’ve even reached the point where colleges and technical schools recognize that social media is a necessary ingredient for public relations and marketing, and have added social media courses and degree programs to their curriculum. Let’s take one example. The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising offers both two-year and four-year social media degrees,...